also!) (Nevermind!) (Royce can be a good attorney when he puts his mind to it.)
Royce is a criminal defense and personal injury attorney. He squeezed in my case enthusiasitically. What luck! Royce has a full time private investigator, Gary Edgekoski. They absorbed an enormous amount of information re exoctic birdkeeping in a short time. I think sometimes we forget how much information is involved n health, behavior, origin, breeding, environments and CITES.
We got a trial continuance until November 5, 1996. Royce Ferguson filed his brief with the court. It challenges Municipal Court jurisidiction due to the federal treaty CITES, additionally, free speech, vagueness, excessive police discretion, and vindictive issues were addressed.
After refusing to plea bargain (because I'm innocent) five additional public disturbance charges were added retroactive to March 1995, and one charge for running a bird breeding business out of our home without a license or proper zoning. We have had birds for almost four years and three babies have been hatched, two cockatiels (a surprise at the bottom of the cage)! I kept one and an neighbor took the other. One umbrella went to a close friend. WOW!
While at my September 4 pretrial hearing prosecutor Bordlemay told my attorney that the Edmonds City Mayor Barb Fahey had been flooded with letters and E-mail from around the world (ASIDE: good birdpooopers!) sympathizing with my situation. The story is listed on several Internet bulletin boards. Bordlemay wants it to stop immediately! My attorney advised her that I had no control over what other people do, and the truth is, I don't even have a computer! Wish I did.
If Edmonds is successful in redefining Exotic Birds as domestic, and therefore limiting the allowable number per household to three, then are fish next? A tropical fish tank with only three fish would not be very impressive. The City of Edmonds Library has an aquarium with at least five "domestic" fish. Who would be guilty of criminal charges there?
These type of court decisions tend to "spill over" into all areas.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
The complaining neighbors, Rick and Sheryl VanDyke and Billy and Mary Ellen Drier Crew, continue to monitor or record every "peep" that comes from the direction of our 1/2 acre property, Their recent "logs" obtained through the court show entries for our dog barking, kid noise, lights coming on, number of squawks per minute, and even bird noise they hear from inside our house. The houses in our neighborhood are not very close to each other. The Crews and the VanDykes are aggresively trying to recruit neighbors to join them and file complaints. To my knowledge they have not spent ANY of their own money on this court battle. The City is footing the bill. They just sit back and watch Animal Control Randy Richards and City Prosecutor Rosemary Bordkenay (Ex-judge for City of Redmond (***Totally K. Hanegan x-post_ she was run! out of that job!!) do their "job."
We are out thousands of dollars in attorney's fees, hundreds for upgrades to the aviary to reduce and absorb the noise (what little there was). The pressure is nothing short of overwhelming.
My family and friends are very supportive. I have met many new friends from all over the country and the world as news of this spreads via the Internet, newspaper, and newsletter articles.
Since the trial is still pending, I have to censor my opinions. I will say that the City is aware that these birds are internationally recognized as endangered species. They know how much they are "worth" and they know what trauma they have been through in their lives. Still the City proceeds with an agenda to seize and destroy. Doesn't the punishment far outweigh the "alleged crime?"
Many thanks to all of you who have helped.
DISCLAIMER: The foregoing was a transcription I made from an article generously provided to me by Lori Rutledge. Any misspellings, other mistakes, are entirely my own. Karen Hanegan email@example.com
Update: The day before the trial was scheduled to commence, all charges against Lori were dismissed and the city noise ordinance she was being charged under was stricken as being unconstitutionally vague as written. At this point Lori and all her rescue birds are safe.
Copyright © 1996 Lori Rutledge - All rights reserved.
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